It’s still a long way to go but the operator of the German capital’s airports Tegel (TXL) and Schoenefeld (SXF) has started a race to make up for the loss of intercontinental air traffic. First promising results are on hand, which is also good news for the operator’s cargo unit.
Torsten Jueling, Product Manager Air Cargo of Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH, is slowly on his way to find his balance again after going through a painful period since last October, when home carrier Air Berlin ceased all operations and became insolvent. The airline’s market exit resulted in a dramatic loss of intercontinental routes, linking the German capital predominantly with cities in North America. From formerly seven destinations, mostly served by Air Berlin, only three are left: JFK, EWR, and YYZ. So westbound there is still some work to do by Mr Jueling and his Berlin colleagues to compensate the loss of connectivity and reactivate his cargo business.
Eastbound it’s less dramatic, particularly since Scoot, the low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, announced the launch of four weekly services between Berlin and Singapore as of 20 June. From its central hub Changi Airport, the Asian carrier offers forwarders and shippers options for transiting their cargo to 60 destinations, including cities in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam.
100,000 tons of exports p.a.
On the Berlin route, Scoot will operate a passenger Boing 787 that can accommodate roughly ten tons of cargo per flight in their lower deck compartments.
Responsible for sales activities in Germany and the neighboring markets for filling the holds of Scoot with freight is the local representation of Singapore Airlines Cargo. Founded in 2012, Scoot
merged last year with Tigerair and serves currently 63 destinations in 17 countries, most of them located in East Asia and Australia.
Filling their Boeing 787 holds with freight shouldn’t be a problem, estimates Berlin manager Torsten Jueling.
He refers to a market study which documents that around 100,000 tons of air freight exports are trucked each year from Berlin and the surrounding catchment area to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Luxembourg or other hubs, to be loaded on board an aircraft there.” The more non-stop flights and cargo capacity we can offer to the market, the fewer truck transports to distant locations are needed,” he resumes. This will also contribute to environmental protection.